For much of Southeast Michigan, the recent cold spell has been brutal. At Mt. Holly, skiing is 'gorgeous'

The Arctic temperatures that have frozen Southeast Michigan may be wreaking havoc on Detroit water mains and heating systems, but in the words of Mt. Holly's general manager, it's just perfect.

"The cold weather - these cold snaps makes the snow so gorgeous that it’s really worth trying at least once or twice," said Mark Tibbitts, who runs the ski and snow resort in northern Oakland County.

It appears many of the skiers at the resort in late January didn't mind either. 

"I didn't look ahead ot make sure that it wasn't going to be super cold - but the sun's out and it's gonna be good," said one prospective skier. "I can feel it."

"I didn't get get very good sleep last night because I was super excited," said another.

"I'm going to have a lot of fun," said a third.

That last comment came from the granddaughter of Steve Malek, who brought the 9-year-old to Mt. Holly on Jan. 29. He wanted to get her some extra training time in for her ski team. 

"We dress for it and we make sure we tell them ‘hey, be careful, keep your nose covered, keep those fingers covered.’ You have to be extra safe today because it is extremely cold," said Malek.

The temperatures have hung in the low 20s and high teens for the past few weeks. January, reminiscent of previous winters that came with a polar vortex label, is blasting much of the country with some of the season's most frigid temperatures. 

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Some relief may be on the way with a short warm-up in February. By then the ski resort may have to fall back on some of its snowmaking capabilities.

With enough of the white stuff on the ground already, that makes the early risings at Mt. Holly not quite so early.

"For snowmakers - we lessen the load (on them), we do a smaller snow make instead of doing area-wide so they can come back and warm up over the course of the night," said Tibbits. 

It has gotten easier with better tech, Tibbits said. New machinery like computers help monitor much of the systems that oversee the resort. 

"You don’t want to wake up early. They take a lot longer to warm up so sometimes it’s a little slower to get the machinery going on a morning like this."